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Car Accident Mediation - do I need a lawyer?

Orlando, FL |

I was in a multiple car accident and my insurance company is holding a mediation to sort out medical coverage for this accident. My insurance told me I could potentially have to pay money out of pocket for other drivers' medical bills because it exceeds my insurance coverage. For that mediation, one of the other drivers is going to have a lawyer present and my insurance is going to have a lawyer present.

Since it could potentially go over my insurance coverage, should I hire a lawyer?

Attorney Answers 7


  1. Your insurance company should have appointed an attorney and it sounds like that has happened already. That attorney is supposed to represent your best interest. You should make contact with that attorney prior to the mediation. Ordinarily, mediation orders require the attendence of any defendants and their counsel.

    Disclaimer: This response is based solely upon the limited information provided in your question; additional facts may be necessary and may lead to a different response. The attorney responding to this question is licensed only in Florida and this response is intended for informational purpose only and not intended as legal advice in your particular state. Additionally, the response is not intended to create an attorney client relationship.


  2. Having a lawyer there looking out for your best interest can't hurt. May not be necessary though, if your insurance company can get the other parties to sign a release for an amount within your insurance policy limits. Good luck 954-got-injured

    LEGAL ADVICE: Unless you have retained me as your attorney, and I am currently engaged by you and providing you with legal advice and services, nothing in this message is intended to be, nor may it be construed as, legal advice.


  3. It probably would not be a bad idea for you to have personal counsel at the mediation. Although your insurance company appears to have hired a lawyer to appear at the mediation on your behalf, it might not hurt to have a lawyer with you who has no tied whatsoever to the insurance company. Personal counsel may be able to place additional pressure on your insurance company to resolve the matter in a way that is most advantageous to you. The only issue you'll need to consider is that the insurance company may not be willing to pay the fees of your personal counsel, so you may find yourself paying those fees out of your own pocket.

    I am licensed to practice in law in Florida, only. Any information or insight that I provide for scenarios outside of Florida, is provided for general information purposes, only. Nothing that I post on this forum should in any way be construed as legal advice.


  4. Your insurance carrier will have someone at mediation. Most cases settle within policy limits. It's rare that defendant's hire private counsel, but if the Plaintiff appears to be looking for you for payments in amount in excess of policy limits and damages in the case will exceed policy limits and the plaintiff is refusing to settle for policy limits, private counsel is good.

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  5. It is not clear whether the "insurance lawyer" you mention is: (1) there representing the insurance company's interest; or (2) was hired by your insurance to be your lawyer and represent your interest. If (1), then you should consider hiring your own attorney. If (2), you already have an attorney and should address any questions or concerns to that attorney.

    The above is general advice regarding applicable state law. It does not create an attorney-client relationship in any specific case.


  6. I thing having personal counsel when dealing with a lawyer hired by your insurance company is always a good idea. Although, your insurance company has an obligation to hire an attorney to represent you in this matter, the attorney is still hired by your insurance company and their loyalty is often questionable. Many times it take the pressure of personal counsel to make the insurance company do the right thing.
    Good Luck.


  7. Having personal counsel is never a bad idea. It sounds like you may have been at fault in causing the colliison. This is the reason that your insurance company is providing you with a lawyer. Your carrier has the obligation to try to resolve the claims within your policy limit. However, in Florida you are not required to carry any coverage for bodily injury caused by you to others. If you have purchased that coverage then, your carrier owes you an obligation to resolve the injury claims within your coverage limit. They owe that obligation to YOU. In Florida - the other drivers have available or should have available 10K in PIP benefits that will cover 80% of their reasonable medical expenses related to the collision.

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